“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Real Lessons of History

Moreover, I thank our loving Lord Who has heard the prayers
of your past family members who wrote to the Holy Trinity Parish Council
on August 12, 1965, "The survey further reveals that of those people
reporting, the majority favor a new facility under an independent parish."
We must finally honor the efforts of those who conducted the survey in
1965, and who were truly visionaries in wanting to see our holy faith
grow in Utah. Among them were George Adondakis, Bill Ligeros,
George Papanikolas, Sam Soter, Sam Souvall, William Souvall and George
Zeese. May their memories be eternal. They were truly progressive and,
most importantly, lovers of the Church.

- Metropolitan Isaiah, Letter to Father Matthew Gilbert, et al., October 6, 2010


Letter to the Community, October 1965

October 12, 1965

Eastern Orthodox Progressives
P.O. Box 15376
So. Salt Lake Branch
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115

To: The Parishioners of Holy Trinity.

We indicated in a previous mailing that we would disclose the results of the survey which we have been conducting regarding the development of a new church facility to serve the Salt Lake area and vicinity.

We have received a sufficient number of questionnaires which, in our opinion, represents a good cross-section of parish opinion. By an overwhelming majority the people have declared that they want a new church facility at 5335 South Highland Drive and that the construction program should proceed at once. They further declared that they were ready, willing and able to support such a program. This was strongly demonstrated by the contributions which the parishioners indicated they were willing to make, over and above their annual pledges. The average amounts of these indicated contributions were very substantial and beyond our fondest expectations.

Finally, the people declared that they wanted a new church facility as a part of a united community and a definite majority indicated that they were willing and determined to become members of an independent parish if a united community program did not materialize.(emphasis added)

We now feel, that in the best interests of all concerned, another general assembly should be held in hopes that action can be taken to insure that the community remain united. Our recommendations to the parish will be that every effort be exerted in the direction of maintaining unity. lf it develops that this is not possible then the only alternative will be to organize and develop the independent parish as rapidly as possible, in accordance with the wishes of the people.

The Eastern Orthodox Progressives have very recently contacted the communities which have experienced similar problems as ours. In reply, we are receiving very valuable information as to helping us propose the best possible legal and administrative corporate structure necessary to accommodate our proposed multi-church program.

We have decided, therefore, to continue and complete this study and subsequently recommend a plan within which a united community, having several parishes can operate smoothly and efficiently

Our study should be completed within ninety days and at that time we will request the board to schedule a special general assembly. At the assembly we intend to propose the adoption of certain resolutuions (sic) which, if adopted should insure our having a united community with two churches (emphasis added) and a firm base upon which to expand and add future parishes as the need arises.


Peter Vrontikis, Chairman

(reprinted here, with permission from Constantine J. Skedros, research notes, The History of the Greek Orthodox Community, page 125. For those interested, Mr. Skedros original notes, from pages 119 - 131, may be accessed by clicking here.)


Postscript: One further historical fact of interest:

At the regular General Assembly held in April of 1968, the Parish members unanimously voted that any attempt or motion in a special General Assembly to separate or divide the Greater Salt Lake Greek Orthodox Community would require the following:

1. Minimum of six months written notice with full and detailed particulars as to the proposed division or separation.

2. General Assembly discussion

3. A minimum vote of 300 or 75 percent of the total eligible membership of the Parish (not the number which may be present at any given General Assembly), whichever number is greater.

(reprinted here, with permission from Constantine J. Skedros, research notes, The History of the Greek Orthodox Community, page 130-131. For those interested, Mr. Skedros original notes, from pages 119 - 131, may be accessed by clicking here.)


Steve Gamvroulas said...

Unfortunately, for our "esteemed" metropolitan there is this thing called the Internet. It makes it very difficult to pull the wool over the eyes of his flock.

- Barbara Billinis Colessides said...

As the loving granddaughter who spent the first 21 years of her life almost literally living in the shadow of my giant of a grandfather, William A. Souvall, I deeply resent the Metropolitan having the AUDACITY to take his name in VAIN and assert that he wanted a split community. HE MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT! (Nor did his friend, George Zeese; I can attest to this first-hand.) Nor did my late father, John Billinis, an Archon, who served on a variety of committees and on the Parish Council during this time. The Metropolitan disgraces these men's memories, along with my godfather's - Mr. Pete Vrontikis, Chairman of the Eastern Orthodox Progressives (whose name he didn't even bother to mention) - in making this and other flimsy assertions based on taking sentences out of context in order to make a point that cannot be defended.) Heck, he cannot even get the dates right! Making up the facts as one goes along is NOT history!

Andy Giannis said...

Now, the time has come for us to request a mental and psychological evaluation of Metropolitan Isaiah and his sidekick here in Salt Lake City, Mr. Kouremetis. We should also, ask for an IQ and competence test for the entire Parish Council. This will help our community members better understand and maybe excuse them for the way they have behaved in the last few years. The community of course should cover this expense in the same way we have paid for their lies, deceptions, stupid and reckless mistakes over the years!!! I think that this is a reasonable and justifiable request. OR perhaps, they should all resign, retire and forever disappear in unison because they have become an embarrassment to the positions they hold. They have violated the trust and faith we had placed in them. Christ’s teachings have meant nothing to them. These people are the ones who brought us divisiveness, anger and pain. They have destroyed the most unified and vibrant community that has existed for over a hundred years. They should be ashamed of themselves.